Nigel Hughes has Bharrat Jagdeo running scared, even running mad…

I have never seen Bharrat Jagdeo running so scared. Indeed, any leader that has so many clouds and shadows hanging over him would be running scared as the impact of Nigel Hughes’s leadership presence registers. Jagdeo is vulnerable on so many fronts that scared only scratches the surface: he is transfixed by dark fears and terrified by the record that he can’t shake, no matter how hard he tries. Though intended in the kindest manner to Jagdeo, I think he is more than running sacred. Jagdeo is running mad.

Jagdeo has never been charged up on a development in Guyana, as this Nigel Hughes one. Not even the PPP’s return to power, for he knew where things stood with the Yanks, and the groundswell of Guyanese support in his corner. Not even with the PPP Congress results, which were subject to his dictates, and a foregone conclusion, anyhow. Not even oil money and loan money flooding into Guyana, have made Jagdeo so wired up and so much like a tightly coiled jack-in-the box figure. What his insatiable lust for power, his peculiar joys with money, his passionate rages against the PNC, couldn’t do, Hughes did. Nothing and no one like Nigel Hughes have sent such a jolt of high voltage electricity into Bharrat Jagdeo’s sensitive nerve ends and has his face tensing, his lips trembling, and his words tumbling out in a torrent, like a koker that can’t close.

When the AFC leadership results came out, Jagdeo ran out immediately to deliver his verdict: politicians making a comeback. Recycled, he said. This from a politician who recycled himself from elected president to self-selected president (during the Donald Ramotar reign), to self-appointed president (the Irfaan Ali regime). Jagdeo appoints and anoints himself as the president operating from the shadows (often without a deva for even that), recycling himself like a high-speed dishwasher or washing machine, and he has the spleen to speak about who is recycled. I say it so that it is clear: given how much Jagdeo has extended and extended his political life. He has done more than recycle himself. He has become a whole used-tire and vulcanizing shop with himself as the sole proprietor, uber operator, and only customer. Recycled was the first indication of his early nervousness. Ask him a soft question about oil or gas, and he becomes a spinning wheel. Up and down, and around and around: what is more representative of what is recycled than such a reality, what has become this leader’s standard? Press him with a hard question about corruption and he runs out of air quickly. Is that not an old bicycle tube that has to be patched up, and recycled to get another hop-and-drop yard out of it?

Jagdeo was so distraught about the appearance of Nigel Hughes that he reduced his weekly tirades against KN and his tormentor, Glenn Lall, to a low trickle, all but pushed those assaults onto the backburner of his volcanic rages. Jagdeo went on a rampage against Hughes, and it was to mask his fears. He turns and there is Hughes -an existential threat. He listens and there is Hughes again, haunting his existence. What is it that Nigel Hughes represents that makes Jagdeo hangs himself in full public view? Jagdeo, the evvel all-conquering is now Jagdeo the blustering when the name Nigel Hughes makes the rounds. Jagdeo the haughty is now Jagdeo the hollow when Hughes is held high by many potential Guyanese voters, including that growing section of disillusioned in his own camp.

But there is another development of major significance that confirms the petrified state that Jagdeo can’t help but manifest. Exxon’s Alistair Routledge came out into the public arena and laid down Exxon’s judgment: the Nigel Hughes-Exxon relationship does not represent a conflict of interest (look out for more on this in Part II). Who tell he fuh she suh! Fire and brimstone poured out of a rattled Jagdeo. Though he should have seen that one coming, being the slick as a stick character that he is, Jagdeo immediately went on the warpath. Exxon has it wrong. It is the first time in memory that Jagdeo has said a negative word, took an opposing posture, against Routledge and Exxon, and it had to do with C.A. Nigel Hughes. Clearly, the presence of Hughes in the political equation is causing Jagdeo to have fits, even expelling bodily fluids excessively, if not uncontrollably. It is not so much what Routledge said, but on whose behalf, he said it. All Guyanese should know by now that when Alistair Routledge speaks, he did not do that on his own. Routledge speaks for more than CEO Darren Woods: he speaks for Exxon’s board of directors, possibly their heavyweight shareholders, to make a thorough job of this. I am asking myself if Mr. Routledge (see how dutiful I can be) did not also speak for America.

Time for the final bell on this episode. Jagdeo is in a world of trouble with Hughes in the political milieu. Nigel Hughes is Bharrat Jagdeo’s worst nightmare. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving Guyanese. Despite my differences with Mr. Hughes, when Jagdeo is reduced to this quivering, sputtering, defensive state, he [Hughes] and I are on the same page.